And the BASA for MLS Coach of the Year goes to...
The race was close between Bob Bradley and Peter Nowak (DC), but the work that Bradley did against Chivas was even more impressive then the work of Nowak. Third place went to Dave Sarachan (Chicago) with Colin Clarke (FCD) pulling in fourth.
Here is my ballot:
1- Bob Bradley (Chivas)
2- Dave Sarachan (Chicago)
3- Peter Nowak (DC)
The pick of Bradley was really a no brainier. He took one of the worse teams in MLS history and completely changed them around. Not only did he get them into the playoffs, but he also changed the whole attitude of the club. What he has pulled off in just 10 months is nothing short of amazing.
Over at the ladder, Scaryice questions Sarachan taking third in the BASAs as his team actually did worse then they did in 2005. My answer for that is the same reason I have him in second place on my ballot.
The Fire played 11 of their first 12 matches on the road. People all over the place predicted that this would be a death nail for the team's season. Instead, they managed to get 11 points from those games, thus setting them up for a good second half run. In addition, the team has a number of younger players that could have easily broken under the long road trip, but they didn't because Sarachan kept them together. I do believe that if they had a few more home games at the start of the season, they would have challenged DC for the top spot in the East.
Which brings me to my number 3, Peter Nowak. He is a great coach, but he has been unable to pull his club out of a long, long slump. In the process, his defense has become much more chaotic while his amazing midfield has grown lazy. DC is still a very good team, but a 11 game dive is not something that just happens. Yes, they still won the Supporters' Shield, but they did it while coasting.
As far as Colin Clarke (FCD), he suffered in much the same way that Nowak did. Although his second half was better then Nowak's, he still had trouble holding the team together (especially in the backfield).
Congratulations to Bob Bradley and make sure to check the ladder tomorrow for Rookie of the Year.